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President Conant told a radio audience last night that the recent executive order on deferment "violates the democratic principle of sacrifice."
Speaking on behalf of the Committee on the Present Danger in an interview with Edward R. Murrow, Conant said, "We do not believe that the American people wish to set apart one group of young men. The deferring of college students appears to establish a pattern in which boys who can afford to continue their education are given special privilege."
"The demands of the emergency," Conant stated, "require that our youth be asked to serve in the armed forces." But, he said in his prepared statement, any method of drafting men through Selective Service would be certain to result in an unfair distribution of the responsibility for serving.
Stand Squarely for U.M.S.
Conant asked for a system of calling up all men in each age group at once. This, he said, "is in accord with the principles of democracy." "The Committee on the Present Danger," Conant said in conclusion, "has stood for Universal Military Service and still stands squarely on this principle."
The executive order released by President Truman on March 31, would defer students on the basis of a test or their standing in class.
Conant was one of the original proponents of Universal Service and argued for it on behalf of the Committee before the House Armed Services Committee only a month ago. Originally he had favored a system under which there would be no deferments at all, with every man serving when called.
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